Kelly Kapoor, more so than any other character in recent television history, embodies unapologetic confidence. In Season 1 of The Office, Kapoor, played by Mindy Kaling, wasn’t yet fully fleshed-out as a character, appearing in run-of-the-mill office wear and the classic low office bun. As the seasons progress, so does Kelly Kapoor’s wardrobe, rising gradually from the ashes of everyday office wear before eventually taking her rightful place as the fashion icon we all know, and feel compelled to love.
Her fashion philosophy is relatable, her style was not quiet, and her confidence was a magnet for attention. She knew what she wanted, and she dressed like someone who either already had it, or wasn’t going to stop until she did.
Here are 13 fashion lessons we can all learn from the inimitable Kelly Kapoor.
1. Special occasions only count if your outfit is equally special
Kelly Kapoor knows that the right outfit is what sets the tone for her day. Birthdays, toxic ex coming to visit, etc. – Kelly sees the sartorial opportunity in them all, and she stays prepared!
2. She knows what she likes and doesn’t let decency get in the way
Is wearing white to a wedding disrespectful to the bride on her big day? Probably, most likely, yes. Does Kelly Kapoor care? No. Should she? Yes.
But even when she’s wrong, there’s a lesson to be learned from her fashion philosophy. When you look your best, you feel your best, so you should always look your best. (Except maybe don’t wear white to a wedding and potentially ruin someone else’s special day. Be cool, Kelly.)
3. She commits to costumes
Halloween is the one day of the year you can embody whatever person/animal/thing that you’ve always wanted to be. Taking advantage of these moments is how you take advantage of all that fashion and clothing have to offer. Take a leaf out of Kelly Kapoor’s book and grab this opportunity with both hands, and milk it from the last week of October until at least noon on the 1st of November.
4. She knows the value of a power suit
She dresses for success (before she works for it), teaching us all that cute clothes and a catchy slogan are as important as success itself. Kelly Kapoor, the business bitch.
5. She understands that accessorizing is key
The bold lip, the statement earrings, the sequinned jacket. This particular combination automatically imbues you with all the confidence you need to accuse your friend’s ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend Jessica of farting at the office Christmas party.
6. She’s not afraid to experiment
The heeled boots, the pocket chains, the rings, the cap, the deliberate nonchalance of the over-the-shoulder gaze! That’s all. Gotta go find all these items and ship them to myself ASAP.
7. She gets music video fashion
She understands her audience and gives them what they want: the absolute most. Then she gives them some more of what she wants: the absolute limits of the most.
8. She made fashion fun for everyone
Fashion is for everyone, everywhere, at any time. Fashion-show-at-lunch is how much fun we should all be having with fashion.
9. Her hair transformations
She’s done the bangs, she’s cut it short, she’s grown it out, and she retained her confidence through it all. No bad hair days in Kelly Kapoor’s world!
10. She didn’t shy away from colour
Kelly Kapoor isn’t here to be subtle. She’s here and she wants you to notice. Prints, color blocks, textures, you name it, she’s done it! She was by far the most colorful Dunder Mifflin employee.
11. She knows her strengths
Confidence is all about playing to your strengths, and Kelly knows exactly what hers are.
12. She knows that any event is just an opportunity to dress up
Carrying on from point 2, Kelly Kapoor understands that your outfit can make or break an occasion. It can make an already exciting event that much more exciting, or help you look forward to an event you were dreading. The satisfaction of finding and saving the right outfit for exactly the right occasion is truly unmatched.
13. “Too much” is just for people who don’t have the confidence to pull it off
The most important lesson to learn from Kelly Kapoor is that fashion is fun and dynamic and should be all about you. Rules are made to be broken, and nothing is off-limits!
Whether you abhor or delight in Kelly Kapoor’s wardrobe, she showed us that spending the majority of the day in a solitary nook at a mid-sized paper company shouldn’t take away the enjoyment of dressing up for the day. Everything she wore was accompanied by the ease and confidence of someone who was having fun and not taking it too seriously! What’s not to love about that?